Exploring Yosemite Valley

We were very much enjoying our exploration of snowy Yosemite, and walked down the paths along the Merced River in the valley. The massive granite mountains dominated the scene and in this direction we could look up to see the Yosemite Falls above us.

The bright snowy banks along the dark water was neat to see. And the green trees made a nice background.

Views of Yosemite Falls across one of the meadows central to the valley.

The chapel was one of our favorite views in September, and now we get to see it in the snow, an entirely different scene.

The chapel with Half Dome in the background. The chapel in the snow was really cool by itself, but putting Half Dome in the background makes it one of a kind.

Yosemite Chapel was constructed in 1879 and is the oldest structure in the valley that is still in use. It is situated near a large meadow, now snow covered. Half Dome and another large granite structure overlook it.

Near Yosemite Village is another large meadow with an unobstructed view of Half Dome. Across the snow-covered meadow with its cloud of fog, it was a majestic sight.

Brenda in the distance along the road we walked alongside the snowy meadow. This is from a video frame.

We reflected on the fact that now snow was covering all the meadows where we played with the boys on our 1982 trip. The low mist hung over all the meadows.

Half Dome across the snowy meadow. The trees up on the shoulder of Half Dome are covered with deep snow from last night's snowfall.

On our walk by the meadow we had the rare opportunity to observe a coyote out looking for breakfast. We had videoed him as he walked around the snow covered meadow just below Half Dome. He had stopped and listened, then plunged headfirst into the snow, with his tail going straight up into the air. He came up with something that looked like a mole. He trotted off with his prize, appearing quite proud of himself.

I would have thought of the winter as a very tough time for coyotes, with all the little furry animals burrowed in for the winter. But this one seemed to be doing ok. With his keen ears, he could hear the animals under the snow and could just plunge in and get them. In just our short walk, we saw him catch a bird in addition to his remarkable dive into the snow.

This map gives a great perspective of the valley where we had been exploring. The coyote was near the location 18 on the map. We had explored along the Merced River which runs though the center of the valley.

In September we had gone up to Glacier Point and were able to see most of this area. With all this snow that high road to 7000 ft was closed, but we decided to drive up to the Tunnel Overlook.

Bridal Veil Falls across the Merced River

You can see the perspective of 620 ft high Bridal Veil Falls on the map above, and see that the road we were traveling took us along the opposite bank of the Merced River.

We got nice views of Bridal Veil Falls from several directions as we drove out of the valley.

From the Tunnel Overlook we could see Bridal Veil Falls and El Capitan. Half Dome was obscured in cloud at this time, but the view of the valley was dramatic.

One last view of Bridal Veil and the Yosemite Valley and we headed back down from Tunnel Overlook for one more drive through the valley loop. We stopped at the Ahwahnee Hotel. Brenda is shown with the Christmas tree in the lobby.

It was time for us to head back to Atlanta, and we felt very blessed to have been able to take a leisurely stroll through Yosemite valley in the snow. This certainly put us in the mood for Christmas.

Christmas at home

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